I read all sorts of religious rebuttals online, but don’t normally waste my time responding. I thought I would to this one:
ann_in_grace responded to a letter in her newspaper in which an agnostic had responded to an anti-abortionist letter. You can see the full transcript of the agnostic’s letter, and her response, here http://sveana.blogspot.com/2007/11/trying-to-understand.html.
I have responded to her commentary line-by-line, her comments are in italics, followed by my responses.
As she seems to confuse agnostics and atheists I’m going to use the term Non-Religious Person (NRP) to include agnostics, atheists, secular humanists, and any other person who is not religious. The letter was signed Heterosexual agnostic (HA) and then she has a go at atheists?
I feel very glad to see that agnostics care about religion, especially Christianity
Some NRPs ‘care’ about religion, in the way that you (I would hope) would ‘care’ about a serial rapist killer wandering your city. Some NRPs ‘care’ that religious dogma can have serious detrimental effects on society. Some NRPs are quite happy for people to be religious and ‘care’ about their freedom/rights to do so, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the NRP’s rights.
, even though they have no idea what they are talking about as well as no desire to learn
Many NRPs have a very good idea what they are talking about; many were religious at one stage; many study the Bible/Koran, often more than a lot of Christians; many NRPs have a desire to learn but want to learn rationally.
Their arguments are very emotional and humanistic, and their shaking their fists to God is so obvious, so well-recognized, that it has become boring.
Well that’s very nice that you think NRPs are humanistic, here’s one of many quotes about what a humanist is/does:
Humanists believe in solving the social and economic problems of society
NRPs get as emotional as anyone else, particularly when they think someone/some group is trying to impose their views on everyone else (i.e. Christians, in general, want to abolish all abortions). I haven’t seen many NRPs ‘shaking their fist to God’, mainly because we don’t believe in god. Any ‘fist shaking’ is at the people who follow a god, especially those that do bad things because of it.
Suddenly they think that the term “fundamentalism” is going to be perceived as a pejorative word.
Suddenly religion, according to an agnostic, is a social enterprise which can be adjusted to human needs, and the criteria for “natural” are being set dependently on trends and wishes.
Religion is a social enterprise, always has been always will be (I’m going to throw the burden of proof to the religious people to prove to me that my last statement is false). Religion, particularly the Christian religion, has always adjusted itself to human needs, and dictates of science. The church used to say the sun revolved around the earth, the earth was flat, and they used to burn witches and promote slavery. All these and many more concepts/ideas/decrees have changed over the years. See the current debate in Australia within the Anglican Church to allow women to become Bishops, the more enlightened diocese are voting for it, other not. This is a debate purely within the church. Religion has had to adjust itself to human needs to remain relevant in modern society (some cynics may say the church adjusts itself to get more believers, thus more money).
In other words: God needs to get upgraded, He is too dull and old-fashioned, time to rock&roll, right? At least…
“If the church wants to be a part of society, it has to adjust her view to the modern foundations of values, which means that no one may be excluded.” HA
Really? Well, it depends what we understand as ‘the church’. And who is giving the definition.
An atheist? And who cares what an atheist thinks about these things? Another atheist, probably, i. e. another God-hating rebel…
As per my previous paragraph, many of the churches have in the past, and are currently, adjusting to modern views (for whatever reason). Rock & Roll – hey, you obviously haven’t been to a ‘happy clappy’ church lately, that’s all they do! 🙂
What do you understand as ‘the church’? Certainly a lot of different churches can’t seem to define what ‘the church’ is, as evident by the vast number of different ones. Why can’t an NRP give a definition of ‘the church’? You will find that a lot of them have done a lot of research into what a ‘church’ may be.
OK, so far I have been nice and polite and tried to use rational arguments against your statements, but the last bit of the above statement of your’s is downright abusive, divisive, and wrong. Atheists do not ‘hate’ God! We just don’t believe in any gods, end of argument! We are not ‘rebelling’ against anything, unless you are so narrow minded that you think every human being on the planet should bow down to your particular religious way of thinking and belong to your particular church. Sure some NRPs come across sometimes as being a bit argumentative or even derisive, but that is only in response to unqualified claims by religious people, or in some cases (like your ‘God hating rebel’ statement) outright insults or untruths.
Rational arguments? Hardly. But convenient, for sure.
Rational, well thought out, well written, non-emotive (even whilst discussing a very emotive topic) letter. Yes I think Heterosexual agnostic’s (HA) letter certainly was rational and their arguments well put, far more than your response! HA’s letter quite clearly puts their point of view across without actually overly criticizing religion. In fact HA seems happy to accommodate religious views:
I want my children to be educated in a school where the teachers understand that there is a plethora of views and ideas in the world and that everybody has a place in it, no matter what religion or political views they follow.
unlike some NRPs, and some religions towards others (Islam V Christianity).
Religion is for us, another comfort next to a psychologist, a lover, an addiction. Let’s bend it to our needs – because we say so. And if those ‘fundies’ don’t listen – let’s slander them with intolerance and narrow mindedness. That will teach them!
I’m assuming you were trying to be sarcastic with these last sentences?
Religion is a comfort for you, how can you say otherwise? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard religious people say things like “since I’ve found Jesus, I’ve found peace in my life” and other such comments. An addiction? Maybe. Heroin addicts can’t get enough of heroin, some religious people can’t seem to get enough of religious experiences; heroin addicts have been known to commit crimes because of their addiction, religious people have been known to conduct crimes in the name of their religion (the Inquisition, 9/11, etc, etc).
Again, I’ve covered the ‘bend it to our needs’, the churches are constantly doing that, look at the rise of evangelical, happy clappy, churches in America and Australia. All that televangelism, rock & roll, clapping and singing, why have they changed like that? To be more like the rest of society. (MTV generation, anyone?)
You (as in religious people; I’m generalizing a bit here, but for a large proportion of you I believe I’m correct in thinking this) are intolerant and narrow minded. No matter what arguments are provided you refuse to condone: abortions, gay marriages (in fact homosexuality of any kind), condoms (to millions of people dying of aids in Africa, which could, in large part, be prevented by the use of condoms) and thousands of other points of view.
Lastly I’m glad you didn’t send that to the newspaper, I think HA would be very disappointed with your response which doesn’t really argue against any of HA’s statements.